The majority of adolescents who have a severe substance use disorder do not recover

Majority Of Adolescents With Severe Substance Use Disorder Don't Grow Out Of It

Experts know little about the long-term effects of substance use disorder symptoms from adolescence to adulthood, despite the fact that one in every three Americans is expected to develop a substance use disorder during their lifetime.

The results of a new University of Michigan study on the subject are bleak: In a new study from the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing, a lot of people who were 18 at the start of the study when they had a lot of problems with drugs still had a lot of problems with drugs when they were adults.

Study: The findings of the study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, are shown below:

  • An estimated 12% of 18-year-olds had severe substance use disorder, or SUD, symptoms.
  • U.S. adolescents with severe SUD symptoms were significantly more likely to report prescription drug misuse in adulthood.
  • The relationship between severe SUD symptoms and later SUD symptoms also held for adolescents with severe alcohol, cannabis and other drug use disorder symptoms.
  • Most adults in the study prescribed opioids, benzodiazepines or other sedatives/tranquilizers had multiple SUD symptoms during adolescence.

Lead author Sean Esteban McCabe, professor of nursing at the University of Michigan and director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health, said, “This is a tremendous wake-up call.”

“The majority of middle-aged people who were prescribed these prescriptions exhibited multiple substance use disorder symptoms when they were 18 years old, raising substantial concerns regarding the safety of prescribing prohibited substances to these people.

Anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, and pain are just a few of the illnesses and conditions that these prescriptions are used to treat, and they’re all linked to an elevated risk of substance abuse.

“We need to reconsider how we screen and prescribe to people who have had multiple substance use disorder symptoms in the past because they may require extra assistance to take their prescription properly.

Some people in long-term rehabilitation from substance abuse problems, for example, utilize “gatekeepers” to assist with prescription dispensing and disposal, as well as lockboxes to restrict access to only the gatekeepers. “

According to McCabe, the majority of the patients in the study did not seek therapy, and the findings point to the need for long-term treatment even if the person isn’t ready. Better adult screening, prevention, and education would also be beneficial.

During adolescence, McCabe said, people who are most likely to misuse prescription drugs and have a substance abuse disorder in adulthood can be found by screening for factors that increase their risk for polysubstance use and substance abuse disorder symptoms.

Insurers may also help by covering the costs of wraparound services, and counties and states can utilize the money from the opioid settlement to invest in evidence-based prevention and treatment activities, he said.

McCabe and colleagues wanted to see if there was a link between the severity of an adolescent’s substance use disorder symptoms and later medical prescription drug use, prescription drug abuse, and substance use disorder symptoms when they were 35–50 years old.

Monitoring the Future research, one of the nation’s most trusted sources of information on emerging patterns in illegal drug, alcohol, and cigarette use among American adolescents, college students, and young and middle-aged adults, followed eleven cohorts of 12th graders from the ages of 18 to 50.

Study after study will look into the role of stimulant and nonstimulant medicine in the treatment of ADHD and the abuse of stimulants and other drugs.